As I sit here for an evening flight to Minneapolis, I realize that because of the flight delay, I’m going to have to force myself to eat something at the airport. My original plan was to tough it through the flights with nothing more than water and eat something on the healthier side once I landed. Strolling around the B terminal of Bush Intercontinental Airport, the selection for healthy food is slim to none. Patrons are surrounded by fast food chains that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. Nothing is nutritious.
After a few laps around the terminal, I settle on a veggie bowl at Bullritos. I’m not denying that this is fast food, but with some careful choices, it can turn into a halfway decent meal.
Skipping the meat is a no-brainer. While the choices are a few different varieties of beef and chicken, they appear to be high in fat and salt. The quality of the meat is also suspect. Sitting in a puddle of grease doesn’t seem all that appealing. My selection tonight includes cilantro rice, grilled onions and peppers, grilled corn, medium hot sauce, pico de gallo, and some chopped romaine lettuce. A small scoop of freshly made guacamole topped it off.
I don’t feel too guilty about the meal I ate at the gate. I was able to manage to get some decent dietary fiber, some vegetables, and most importantly, the avoidance of meat.
So what’s the message for weary travelers, who unfortunately have to do this much more often than I do? The answer is simple. Choose wisely. While it would be optimal to bring food from home, when you are forced to eat the food at the airport, avoid fast food like the plague. Meals where you have the option to add or subtract components gives you the most control, and likely a healthier choice. At the larger terminals, there appears to be a new breed of healthier food choices, including freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. The sandwich choices I’ve seen allow for lots of vegetable toppings, and what would appear to be lean meats. Some even offer a breadless sandwich.
Feel free to share your dietary travel stories with us.